Vague musings, terrible jokes, and worrying about everything a bit too much. Caution: endless puns ahead! seriously. the puns won't stop. he/him

Chicago-ish
Joined March 2018
Remember how I thought my stove and/or microwave was tripping a circuit breaker? Well, time for some investigation.
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The other day it tripped when I was using the microwave. This kitchen wasn't put together as originally planned and so what was going to be a cooktop vent and nothing else has turned into an over-the-stove microwave and the same circuit also powers the stove.
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This isn't ideal because they only ran a 15A circuit, when these days you'd run a 20A for a microwave. The microwave itself draws just shy of 16A according to the meter. While that is technically too much, it really shouldn't trip a breaker for quite some time.
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And for clarity because I already see someone is confused, the stove is gas. It draws practically nothing, so sharing it with the microwave isn't kosher these days but also isn't a problem. Anyway, this isn't enough to trip a breaker with typical microwave use.
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While I was down here, though, I noticed a strange sound coming from the panel. The microwave was on an auto reheat setting and would shut off the cycle the magnetron which would confirm the noise was coming from that breaker. Sure enough...
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That noise is coming from the breaker in question and I strongly suspect there is arcing going on internally. That arcing is probably enough to heat the bimetallic strip and cause it to trip. So, I was wrong to condemn the stove as problematic. It's the breaker!
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My favorite part of furniture store commercials is when they cut to the chaise.
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When it comes to my furniture puns, I'd say sofa so good.
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I just read an article about heat pump water heaters coming on the market that only need a 120V circuit and folks - this is a big deal. And also - they've put a VERY clever hack into them! A thread:
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So, a typical American water heater is something like a 40-60 gallon (~150 ~215 litrés) insulated tank and something, either electric heating elements of a gas heat exchanger, makes that water hot. Keeping it in a tank like that creates a thermal battery of sorts.
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I'm now on the record as saying that I think tankless water heaters are overkill in the vast majority of cases and arguably a bad method of saving energy and now I'm even further into that camp. At this point, I would seriously advise against one. Here's why:
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That storage of hot water has always allowed for smoothing energy demand and now it's being used to fix the biggest downside of a small heat pump: a slow recharge time. Up 'til now, HP water heaters were "hybrids" and still had heating elements for periods of high demand.
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The challenge of having a heat pump exclusively is that, if you use all the hot water, it may take hours for it to become hot again. So how are we fixing this? Keeping the water MUCH hotter.
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Rather than a thermostat which keeps the water in the tank at 120°F, the thermostat now controls a mixing valve. It will work to mix cold water in and send 120°F water out of the pipe, but what's *in* the tank may be 170 or 180°. This effectively makes the tank much larger!
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*yes this technically means there are two thermostats. This method essentially buys time, and allows for it to provide a consistent output temperature even if the water in the tank has cooled to 130° after some use and downtime. It probably also has sanitation benefits, too.
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But the reason this is a big deal is that it will enable folks who currently have gas-fired water heaters to install a much more eco-friendly alternative without running a new 240V circuit to wherever their water heater lives. Truly this is a huge win for emissions!
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I went to a geology seminar to try and find out what these big boulders I found were. As I explained what they looked like to a panel, a familiar melody started playing. Suddenly – a drumbeat, and the panel sang in unison "WOOOOuldn't it be gneiss?"
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God Only Knows how contrived this setup is.
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My intense aversion to modern multicolor LED sets is just one of the ways you can tell I don't build my own PCs
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